Hola! I recently came across a blog post defining what Fine Art Wedding Photography is and I wanted to add my ten cents to the subject. I consider myself a Fine Art Wedding Photographer. Mainly because I consider myself an artist using Photography as a medium. It took me a while to think of myself as a Fine Art Wedding Photographer because I don’t shoot film.
To me, Fine Art Wedding Photography is more about the look, style and mood of the photos rather than the medium you are using.
An artist is an artist, no matter what medium he uses right? Each one picks their favourite medium to express themselves. And that is just fine. But then I went on Greg Frinck´s Film wedding workshop and realized a few things:
- I love film, but it is unpredictable. Sort of like having a crazy monkey as a wedding assistant. Totally unreliable. So many things can go wrong with film handling and shipping, I just don’t want the extra stress.
- Once you shoot with your lovely Contax medium film camera, your film is processed in the lab and then it is scanned and made digital again. So eventually, the film becomes a digital file again.
- Shooting with a Contax and most other film cameras makes your images very blurry…so blurry that many times the bride or groom´s face are out of focus. This is something that happens all the time when shooting film. I love out of focus effects but when I want something sharp I want to make sure it is.
- There are many film presets out there that will make your digital photos look like film. Seriously, sometimes I cannot even see the difference myself (and I look hard). The giveaway is that most film photos are blurry, that is what tells you if it was originally shot on film or not.
- Most film photographers use digital cameras after dark (unless you want all your images black and white and grainy..and you might want that)
I could add more bullet points to my reasoning but you see where I am heading to: I love, love, film photos, but it is very hard to work on a real wedding. I think it is perfect for a styled shoot, even an engagement shoot and I love the look of those film photos. But digital has many advantages that in my opinion outweigh the pros, especially because the film look can be easily replicable in post production, it can handle low light situations infinitely better, you have more control over the focus, can shoot unlimited photos without having to stop to change the film, etc.
So what makes a Wedding Photo a Fine Art Wedding Photo? To me, it´s:
1- The Look:
Bright, airy, with pretty natural or real life colors (tending to pastel colors, depending on where on the planet you shoot and the light conditions). Soft contrast.
2- The Style:
Using natural poses with bride and groom, some poses with movement (which I love) and using a soft flattering light. Because I can handle harsh sunlight really well, I sometimes shoot in full sun (it makes for some very interesting photos too). Shooting lots of details (in my case I do but not taking it over the top, people are more important to me than wedding stationery images).
3- The Mood:
Elegant, refined, romantic, dreamy.
I love Fine Art Photography for weddings because they have a timeless, elegant and beautiful look that will not date in the near future as some overly retouched wedding photos do.
If you are reading this post chances are you are a photographer or are going to get married soon. Do you like Fine Art Photography? What do you like best about it?